That Tom Elliott does not believe NI’s drivers and vehicles should be administered alongside the rest of the UK’s is unsurprising – populism always trumps Unionism, after all.
However, it is worth again demonstrating the sheer irresponsibility and nonsense evident from his defence of having a DVLA in Coleraine for NI alone while the one in Swansea covers the whole of GB.
Firstly, Mr Elliott tries to argue that Swansea lost £200m worth of files recently and “centralisation would make this even more likely”. So, apparently, adding 2.9% of the population to Swansea’s workload will see it totally collapse in administrative atrophy!
Secondly, Mr Elliott makes the old point that 300 people would be put out of work by transferring this aspect of administration to Swansea. It is hard not to sound harsh when saying this, but frankly I don’t pay taxes so someone in Coleraine can be paid £20,000 each year to administer something which doesn’t need to be administered. If these are non-jobs which frankly don’t need to be done, we have no business paying for them to be done; if jobs are to be transferred, then frankly it does make sense to transfer them from the UK region with lower unemployment and higher GDP/capita (Northern Ireland) to the one with higher unemployment and lower GDP/capita (Wales).
We have already had the SDLP’s Alex Attwood luducrously defending a system where NI has eight regional DVLA offices compared to Scotland’s five and London’s three.
In other words, we are now at the stage where the UUP and SDLP specifically advocate wastage in the system; specifically advocate government inefficiency; and specifically advocate taxpayers subsidising work which either does not need to be done or could just as easily be done elsewhere.
I’m sure hard-pressed surveyors, estate agents, cafe owners and so on will be delighted that they are being squeezed to pay taxes to such useful effect….